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Hit-and-Run Accidents: Compensation and Criminal Penalties...

In road accidents wherein people sustain injuries or get killed, state traffic laws require the involved drivers, especially the one who is unhurt and conscious, to stop and provide all necessary assistance to the injured; it is also obligatory for the able driver to contact traffic enforcers (and wait for them to arrive at the scene) if someone gets killed in the accident. If both drivers are conscious and without serious injuries, however, then they should exchange information regarding their identification, contact details and insurance provider.

Though state laws may differ with regard to the severity of the crime and punishment to be imposed on drivers who speed away from the scene of an accident, the following are basic legal consequences:

  • Suspension or revocation of driver’s license (in some states, permanent cancellation of license is imposed)
  • Imprisonment and costly fines
  • Cancellation of the liable driver’s insurance policy

Since 2005, the yearly number of hit-and-run victims has increased steadily, causing the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to be alarmed. The Administration’s records in fact show that, from 2009 to 2011, reported hit-and-run cases have risen from 1,274 to 1,449.

Hit-and-run, which is also called hit and skip, leaving the scene or skipping and fleeing an accident scene, means speeding away from the scene of an accident to avoid responsibility over an injured victim. This act, however, only makes matters worse both for the victim and the liable driver. On the part of the driver, leaving the scene can result to either a misdemeanor or a felony. This means time behind bars besides the punitive damages and compensatory damages he or she will have to pay.

For the victim, seeking compensation will be quite difficult, more so if there are no clues that will help identify who the liable driver is. Under this circumstance, the hit-and-run victim will have to collect from his or her own insurance policy. In states where no-fault auto liability insurance coverage is required, the victim can apply for a no-fault claim, otherwise, an underinsured or uninsured claim is the alternative option.

Understanding Gun Control

Gun control and laws are currently a heavily debated topic in America and have many in-and-outs that individuals looking to possess a gun need to understand. Although it is legal to own and possess a firearm in the United States, these gun control laws heavily regulate use among private owners of guns.

Gun control laws can vary by state and region as well. For example in rural areas where hunting is more commonplace, the gun laws may be less restrictive than in an urban area suffering from high crime rates and a higher population.

Before purchasing a gun, it is important to understand some common aspects of the gun control laws. Many states have begun to require a waiting period for those who purchase guns, meaning that there is a time in between the purchase of a gun and the allowed time when the purchaser can take possession of the gun.

Gun permits may also be required to purchase a firearm in some states as well. In addition, the individual purchasing the gun may be required to register the firearm by the state. A common gun control law that must be followed before purchasing a gun in some states is a required gun safety class. A background check may be also required before being allowed to purchase a gun as well.

Some guns are banned all together for purchase by private citizens including unregistered and illegal guns, concealed weapons, and assault weapons. People who are banned from purchasing a gun are convicted felons, minors, and aliens. No matter the person, however, guns are prohibited in nearly all states near or on school property or a school zone.

The punishments for violating these gun control laws can be steep. They include heavy fines, complete loss of gun ownership rights, probation, and even jail time as it is considered a felony to be found guilty of a crime involving a firearm. It is often necessary to contact a criminal defense lawyer if you have been accused of violating gun control laws. To learn more information about gun control laws and penalties, click here….

Types of Homicide

While all homicides are horrifying and punishable by law, there are different ranges of homicides that can be committed. Manslaughter, murder, criminally negligent homicide, and vehicular manslaughter are four different types of homicides that have unique characteristics.

Manslaughter is defined as “the unjustifiable, inexcusable, and intentional killing of a human being without deliberation, premeditation, and malice.” There are two types of manslaughter: involuntary and voluntary. The difference between voluntary and involuntary manslaughter is that voluntary revolves around the idea that the accused person intentionally harmed the victim.

Different from manslaughter, murder is “the killing of a human being by a sane person, with intent, malice aforethought (prior intention to kill the particular victim or anyone who gets in the way) and with no legal excuse or authority.” For murder, the keyword is malice. Unlike manslaughter, murder is intentional. There are two degrees of murder: first degree and second degree. First degree murder involves deliberate planning, premeditation, and/or malice, whereas second degree murder simply involves malice.

A criminally negligent homicide occurs if a death has resulted from another’s criminal negligence. Acting with criminal negligence is when someone’s action “grossly deviates” from normal behavior. Examples of criminal negligence could be when someone leaves a child in car that’s turned off, or if someone driving recklessly. While this type of homicide is often considered less serious, it is equally as devastating.

Lastly, vehicular manslaughter is when a death occurs due to illegal and reckless operation of a vehicle. Vehicular manslaughter can be categorized as a misdemeanor or manslaughter, depending on the extent of driving laws that were broken at the time of the accident. Speeding, drunk driving, and acting with gross negligence are three instances in which this type of homicide can happen.

Click here to read more about the different types of homicides. Homicide charges affect lives of those accused, however action can be taken to reduce them.